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Practical advice on website creation, online marketing and business development

Creating an Online Portfolio Step-by-Step [Ready-to-use templates!]

By Karol Andruszków

How to create portfolio online
Online portfolio is the perfect way to present your professional accomplishments professionally and creatively. At BOWWE, we know that a professional portfolio website increases your chances of gaining new orders, establishing cooperation with new clients, or finding a job. Therefore, this time we suggest how to quickly and effortlessly create an effective portfolio website that will arouse the interest of principals and recruiters. Learn how to quickly create an attractive online portfolio using ready-to-use templates from the BOWWE Website Builder!

What is an online portfolio?

In the past, to confirm their skills, freelancers took a printed portfolio - most often a briefcase with projects - to meetings with clients. Today, however, the Internet offers much better opportunities. One of them is having a professional portfolio website. It’s the most effective way to present your results so far on the web. The online portfolio can simultaneously act as a business card, resume (CV), and gallery with your best projects. What's more, with a well-positioned portfolio website, you increase your visibility on the web. It means that potential customers will find you and your services more quickly by entering the appropriate term in the search engine.

Who especially needs a portfolio?

An online portfolio is especially relevant to freelancers, entrepreneurs, and companies that provide creative services. In this industry, the visual side of the portfolio plays a key role and can determine the cooperation with new clients. Are you a photographer, illustrator, UX designer? Do you provide services as a freelancer? A visually beautiful online portfolio will successfully serve you as a base for gaining new orders in your industry.
Having a portfolio is also always aid in getting a job. Even in professions where you don't usually create a portfolio. Do you deal with marketing, accounting, or maybe translations? An original portfolio will help you make an excellent first impression on the employer!

6 Reasons Why You Should Create an Online Portfolio

In an age where online presence has become essential for everyone, having an online portfolio is necessary.
A portfolio in the form of a website is one of the best ways to make an excellent first impression on potential customers. It will allow you to meet the expectations of your clients and show your best and professional side.

Here are the most significant benefits of having an online portfolio for your business:

1. Huge time savings

A portfolio site will allow you to easily, quickly, and effectively present your projects to clients. If you want to send your offer to your clients, you don't have to bother every time to collect materials in PDF form, print them or create complex presentations. Use an online portfolio!  It’s a huge time saver not only for you but also for your customers. You will present them your best projects and skills very honestly. Thanks to this, the principals/recruiters will immediately assess your style and decide to establish cooperation much faster, without wasting your time!
You can create an effective portfolio in few minutes by using BOWWE.

Due to the intuitive operation of the website builder, building a portfolio is very fast! You won't code anything. You don't need any graphic skills!

2. The easiest way to present your offer

A portfolio in the form of a website is the most convenient way for your clients to know your offer. One-click is enough for them to be able to freely browse your designs on a laptop or mobile device at any time. It takes extra effort to open multiple links or unpack directories. Why should the client do this when he receives many such messages from other freelancers or companies every day? You will stand out positively if you send him something easier to use. Too complicated road to your works may lead to rejection at the very beginning! Thanks to the online portfolio, you will put everything necessary in one place, where everyone interested can easily reach it - going down your website!

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3. You will reach a much wider audience

Every day, people worldwide surf the web in search of products, services, or new solutions. An SEO-optimized portfolio website is an opportunity for anyone to reach a wider audience. Thanks to this, after entering a password related to your brand, industry, services, or location, potential customers will find your website.
The portfolio in the form of a website gives you a chance to increase your visibility on the web. However, you must remember to implement simple SEO rules on your website! When posting content in individual sections of your portfolio, make sure that keywords are relevant to your business, preferably those related to your location or service, e.g., wedding photographer, advertising agency, freelance graphic designer London

4. Unforgettable first impression

If you think that it is enough to paste a few links on one website to present your achievements in this way - don't do it! It doesn't look very professional, and it certainly won't make a good impression on your potential customers. Even with the best projects - presented chaotically - you will not gain confidence in yourself! And yet, your job is to make sure you don't get rejected.
A beautiful online portfolio will serve as your business card and tell you much more about your skills, creativity, and experience than many long CVs.

5. Distinguishing and ahead of the competition

Before clients decide to work with you, they will certainly do some research and review the offers of many other freelancers. A professional online portfolio is your chance to stand out from the competition. Thanks to this, you will show that you are serious about your business, you are a reliable professional. Thusexcitingyour inspiration is you will gain their trust. Your experience and the number of completed projects are essential, but a skillful presentation of your results so far will also determine your ultimate success!

6. Certain customer trust

Freelance work involves a constant search for new jobs. It means constantly working on building your brand. Of course, it is worth using recommendations and commands. However, this portfolio is crucial in gaining the trust of potential customers. A professional portfolio website is a first and most important step in verifying your skills. In your online portfolio, you can put short success stories behind your projects and support them with the opinions of satisfied customers and references. Thanks to this, you will quickly gain the trust of future clients.
In which industries a professional online portfolio is essential? How to use them to develop your brand and business? If you want to know more about it, check out our article!

So what should your portfolio be like?

An online portfolio is a form of self-presentation that plays a more significant role in many industries than a CV. Many principals won't even consider your offer if you don't include a portfolio. By creating an attractive portfolio in the form of a website, you meet the expectations of your potential customers. How to build a unique online portfolio that will attract recipients’ attention and convince them to cooperate with you? Here are essential features that any professional portfolio should have.

Creativity

To stand out from the competition, your portfolio should be original! In the portfolio, you express yourself and show your skills. So it cannot be boring. The unique portfolio will allow you to grab the customer's attention. The layout of photos, colors, and graphic elements cannot, therefore, be accidental. The entire website should be well thought out to highlight your skills and emphasize the value of your work.
Designer portfolio
Remember that the online portfolio can also be used as a creative way to create your CV. Such an original form of a CV will surely interest recruiters.

Intuitive navigation

A potential customer should easily find what he or she was looking for in your portfolio in a few seconds. Therefore, it is worth displaying only the most crucial information about your company and the best projects to be visible at first glance. So what deserves mention should be on the home page.
An excellent online portfolio should be dynamic, and browsing should be smooth and flawless. Users should be able to move smoothly between sections and also be able to reach your projects quickly. The gallery with projects is the essential part, which is the axis of each portfolio - therefore, access to it should be easy and visible. Overly long descriptions or unnecessary sections should not dominate the portfolio pageThe portfolio page should not be dominated by excessively long descriptions or unnecessary areas - this can effectively discourage visitors from staying on the site.

Infographics

Using infographics on your portfolio page will help your customers capture and remember essential information. Use the timeline infographics to show your resume or your work process in a dynamic way. The charts will serve you as a visualization of your results. It is an accessible way to present numerical data in case studies you can include in your portfolio. Attractive icons will catch the eye and interest your audience - so use them to highlight your strengths or show off your knowledge of languages ​​or programs.

Stay updated!

Your online portfolio must always be up-to-date and contain only the latest information and the freshest projects! By posting your projects from years ago, you give your potential client a signal that nothing interesting has happened in your career recently. If no one has been cooperating with you for a long time, this is a worrying sign for the client.
Do you think updating information in your portfolio is time-consuming? By creating an online portfolio in our website builder, you gain the ability to easily and quickly update with a few clicks.

Online Visibility

Having an online portfolio is the best way to attract new customers. Even the most beautiful portfolio site will not fulfill its function if no one knows about its existence. Therefore, it is worth taking care of online visibility and reaching the largest possible audience. By creating a portfolio in BOWWE, you gain access to functions related to positioning that will increase the visibility of your pages in search engines. Thanks to this, potential customers will quickly find out about your existence - all they need to do is enter the password related to your services in the search engine. Remember that in our website builder, optimization of your portfolio is automatic - so you do not need to have advanced SEO knowledge.

Responsiveness

Most of your customers will view your portfolio on smartphones. Make sure it won’t distort the quality of the images of your projects. You must adapt the portfolio website to mobile devices. A responsive portfolio will ensure that graphics or photos will not lose their quality regardless of the type of device they display.
Creating a portfolio of BOWW does not have to worry about this issue - our pages automatically adapt to different screens.

What tools to choose to create an online portfolio?

A professional portfolio in the form of a website will allow you to present your projects exactly as you want. Unfortunately, many CMS tools (such as WordPress, Joomla, or Wix) have their limitations, making it challenging to create an original portfolio in line with your vision. However, there are ways to create a beautiful portfolio the easy and fun way - without wasting time and money! By using our website builder, you don't have to spend hours building a portfolio from scratch. You will also not need any unique website design course. Thanks to the intuitive drag and drop technique, in BOWWE, you will build a portfolio quickly and fun. However, before you start creating your portfolio, check out the best way to do it below!

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How to create a professional portfolio step by step?

1. Set a goal you want to achieve with a portfolio

Without knowing what you want to achieve with a portfolio, you will never achieve it!
The first and most crucial step to start creating any portfolio is to set a goal for it. Before choosing a portfolio theme (template), ask yourself a few key questions:
  • What is your experience - do you have commercial designs to show off, or are you just beginning your career?
  • Do you specialize in one industry, or are you versatile and take on various challenges? The way you want to develop your business will depend on how your achievements present in your portfolio.
  • What do you want to achieve ultimately? Get your first customer or increase the monthly number of orders? Provide specific numbers and the time you want to accomplish this.
Are you just starting your business, and you don't have commercial projects to show off yet? The best solution will be to create sample works that will serve as a sample of your capabilities!
If you already have a lot of experience, a challenge awaits you - choosing the best projects. If you focus on one subject, e.g., you are a photographer specializing in wedding photography - it is worthwhile to diversify your photo gallery. So choose diverse photos. Thanks to this, you will create a visually engaging story that will interest a potential client and encourage him to discover more of your work.

Our tip: Are you a versatile freelancer willing to undertake projects on various topics? In this case, the best way is to divide the gallery of your tasks into categories.

2. Choose your best projects

When creating an online portfolio, focus on quality, not quantity. You don't have to post all your projects - social media will be better for that. The professional portfolio should include only the most representative projects relevant to your potential clients.
How do you choose the best works (especially if you have a lot of experience)? Do it by elimination. First, decide on a category. Following the example of a photographer, the class may be, for example, wedding photos. Now select pictures from only a few of the most interesting photo sessions. Then choose these dynamic and varied shots to avoid monotony. They will be the main part of your portfolio. If you're photographing other things, add a few other high-quality photos outside of the category for variety.
Do not include more than 20 photos in your portfolio. The potential client will not have the time (possibly also patience) to browse through too many works. So it's better not to share everything at once exciting but only arouse interest. Thanks to this, you will encourage customers to contact you, and then it will be much easier to convince them of yourself!

3. Plan your structure

It is essential to plan your entire portfolio structure well. It is imperative in terms of UX (User Experience), i.e., the experience and impressions of the recipients of your portfolio. Thanks to proper navigation, users will be able to navigate through the website smoothly. To properly guide your visitors through all the essential elements, create a detailed plan for each section and subpage. Guide visitors to build their trust and encourage them to take a specific action (e.g., fill out a contact form). So make sure your call-to-action (CTA) buttons are prominently displayed.
Our website builder gives you many editing options, so you can decide on the entire layout of your portfolio and plan everything accordingly. Here are sections that you can't miss in your portfolio, as well as tips on how to expand them and what information to include in them.

Home Page

The home page should contain the necessary information that will tell visitors what you do at the outset. Although the visual aspect plays a vital role in every portfolio, the text is also significant in positioning. A portfolio consisting of photos only will not be visible in search engines.
What else to include on the home page? Remember that your name/nickname or company name should be prominently displayed. Thanks to this, customers will easily remember them, thus creating associations with your brand for the future.

About me

In this section, visitors have the opportunity to get to know you a little closer and learn more about your work, goals, values, ​​or interests. It’s the most private part where you can introduce yourself. You can add your photo here, which shows that what you are doing is your passion. Then create a description that will interest your audience and will be easy to remember. Think about how you want to be seen by your audience and customers. Make your description sound like that! You can share the story of how your business started or what is your inspiration. Remember, a sentence or two about who you are and what you do is all it takes.
about me portfolio

Gallery / My projects

The most important element in every portfolio. After a short introductory part, visitors should go to the gallery with their works. They shouldn't waste time wading through other sections or descriptions that are too long. Remember to have a clear layout and presentation of your photos. When juxtaposed together, they should harmonize with each other and present high quality.
Our advice: Remember not only about the quality of your photos but also about their optimization! Add meta titles (meta titles) and alternative descriptions (alt attributes) to your photos so that they are visible in image search engines (e.g., Google Graphics). Including short information about what is in the images is a crucial SEO rule. You will improve the visibility of your portfolio on the web and improve your results!

Outcomes

Don't just show viewers the result - show them what you've achieved. Present your projects in the form of success stories or case studies. Tell the story behind the project. What has the client gained thanks to your work? Maybe, for example, it contributed to the increase in sales of a given company? After all, one customer’s success achieved thanks to you may persuade others - who are in a similar situation - to use your services! Nothing will convince a client to cooperate with you more than concrete results. By posting the results (statistics, graphs instead of a simple description of the results), you will quickly increase your credibility and gain the trust of potential clients!

Contact

An online portfolio should enable customers to contact you quickly. So don't forget to put your phone number or e-mail address in a prominent place. If you frequently visit social media, link to the channels where clients can contact you the fastest.
You can also place a contact form on the portfolio page, which will enable direct contact for all people interested in cooperation. When creating a portfolio in our website builder, you can easily add a contact form without installing special plugins - just use a ready-to-use template or add a layout using the website builder!

Trusted us

Ask customers for opinions and include them in your portfolio. There is no better way to confirm your skills than to post a section from Testimonials, i.e., recommendations from satisfied customers. The fact that others are willing to recommend you will surely inspire the trust of your audience. Make sure your reviews are authentic and add photos or names of customers (of course, after obtaining their consent). However, make sure that all opinions are genuine! Customers will quickly sense a falsehood, and then they will certainly not cooperate with you!

Integration with social media

Integrating the website with social media has a massive impact on the positioning. It is also an effective way to reach new customers and establish direct contact with them. So you need to ensure that your portfolio website is integrated with the social channels that are crucial for you. Icons referring to social media channels should be nicely designed and visible on the home page of your portfolio.

How to promote your online portfolio?

Use the power of social media to attract new customers with ease! Showing your works on social media is an entirely free way to promote yourself and your activities. Do you have a large group of followers on your business profile on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn? Share a link to your portfolio there.
How else to promote your portfolio online for free? You can link to your portfolio page on Fiverr, Upwork, PeoplePerHour, or other platforms. Thanks to this, your portfolio will go directly to the principals present on the websites.

4. Choose a unique template

The fastest way to build a perfect portfolio is to use ready-to-use templates! Your inspiration is exciting, the ideal solution for those who want to have a high-quality portfolio without spending a lot of time. The templates in our creator are designed with the needs of freelancers from many industries in mind. Are you afraid that the template will prevent your portfolio from being distinguished from the others? Nothing could be more wrong! In BOWWE, you can easily modify the portfolio structure, decide on the layout or the number of photos, which guarantees you a unique style. By using templates adapted to various industries, you will instantly create an impressive online portfolio!

Create your own portfolio in BOWWE!

A compelling portfolio website is a must-have for every freelancer and entrepreneur who wants to show off their achievements on the web and gain new customers. It is also a great way to stand out on the job market and initially present your skills. It is also a sign that you are a professional who is serious about your business. In our creator, you will quickly create a unique website with a portfolio, thanks to ready-to-use templates that have been designed for entrepreneurs from various industries. To start using them, click the button below. Then pick your template and create a free account at BOWWE!

Pick your portfolio template!

Do you need more inspiration for building your brand and business? Check out our blog, where we regularly publish proven business tips.
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